Acupuncture and Naturopathic Medicine for Thyroid ControlThe thyroid is like your own personal, automatic thermostat. It regulates distribution of energy throughout your whole body and is one of the largest glands in the endocrine system. It acts like a hormone releasing headquarters that also controls hundreds of other major to minor bodily functions including mood, sleep, body temperature, and weight. The word thyroid is derived from the Greek words ‘thyreos’ which means shield and ‘eidos’ which means form.

When the thyroid is out of balance the entire system can suffer. The two most common results associated with a thyroid imbalance include:

Hypothyroidism – This imbalance causes reduced hormone production leading to symptoms that include fatigue, weight gain, neck enlargement, constipation, low heart rate, heavy menstrual cycles, and the inability to lose weight.

According to a study published by the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 10.95% of the 5,376 people surveyed were diagnosed with hypothyroidism. (The Health Site 2/4/15)

Hyperthyroidism – Weight loss, high blood pressure, excessive sweating, rapid heart rate, shorter menstrual cycles, nervousness, trembling, and frequent bowel movements are all symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

The American Thyroid Association cites a public study (vol 7 issue 8 p5-6) that states,

“Patients with hyperthyroidism have increased risks of various cardiovascular problems, such as atrial fibrillation (an irregular heart rhythm), hypertension, coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure.”

Unfortunately, a thyroid imbalance can sometimes be the last diagnosis as symptoms often mimic other disorders. This could cause months or even years of avoidable suffering and unnecessary medication intake.

Once a thyroid problem is detected, lifelong prescription drugs are administered. Those challenged by thyroid imbalances may be diagnosed with related conditions such as, Grave’s disease, Hashimoto disease, goiters and thyroid nodules.

Sometimes, naturopathic medicine can treat thyroid imbalance using clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, and acupuncture.

Stick it To It
In a study titled, ‘Acupuncture’s Effectiveness at Treating Subclinical Hypothyroid Disease’ published in ‘Global Advances in Health and Medicine’ (11/13), it was found that,

“…patients had decreases in TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) and number of hypothyroid symptoms present and increases in total cortisol load and morning diurnal cortisol rhythm. Both patients reported improvements in bowel movements and menstruation…From this study, it can be theorized that acupuncture is a viable treatment option for SHypo (Subclinical hypothyroid disease)”

Frequent and specifically targeted acupuncture treatments may be able to readjust your thyroid to possible prevent or even enable you to discontinue medication. A naturopathic doctor trained in acupuncture is one of the best natural defenses for thyroid challenges.

Like Cures Like
A clinical trial of homeopathy for hypothyroidism reported by Dr. Shah of LifeForce Homeopathy showed significant improvements for an Indian woman struggling with hair loss, frequent colds and hand pain (all under active thyroid symptoms). Upon homeopathic treatment, the hand pain was the first to heal. Eventually it was reported that,

“Within 4 months there was very good recovery in her hair falling and frequent colds. She no longer got any cold attacks, sneezing has completely stopped. Her hair falling had stopped completely. She was advised to repeat her blood test for thyroid functioning. The report done on 29th April 2010, showed that her TSH levels were absolutely normal.”

Homeopathy should only be administered by a trained naturopathic doctor as it takes a specific protocol of intake clues to determine the precise protocol.

Food for Thyroid
Diet plays a major role in systemic functioning as well as malfunctioning. When it comes to maintaining a healthy thyroid it is important to choose the right foods according to your specific constitution.

Clinical nutrition is a precision based approach to medicinal eating best guided by a trained naturopathic doctor. After determining your constitutional clues such as various body temperatures, skin and tongue appearance, and blood tests a specific nutritional protocol can be recommended for thyroid strengthening.

The main nutrients when it comes to optimal thyroid functioning include:

Iodine – Iodine is essential for thyroid health. Too much can be damaging so those who eat fish should be careful as some fish (especially large game) may contain high amounts of iodine. However, in 2007 the World Health organization (WHO) reported that, “over 30% of the world’s population were iodine deficient.”

Best foods for iodine in addition to fish include: cranberries, yogurt, navy beans, baked potatoes, milk, turkey breast, boiled eggs, bananas, strawberries, green beans and cheddar cheese.

Selenium – Studies show that the thyroid contains more selenium by weight than any other organ. Therefore, selenium is the second most important nutrient when it comes to this gland. It regulates iodine and protects the thyroid against oxidative damage.

Best foods for selenium include Brazil nuts, Shitake/white button mushroom, pinto/Lima beans, brown rice, seeds (sunflower, sesame, flax, chia), broccoli, cabbage and spinach.

Zinc – This mineral is very underrated as it is essential for so many systemic processes including thyroid function. It should be taken with the mineral copper for optimal effect.

Best foods for zinc include spinach, beef, shrimp, kidney and Lima beans, flax and pumpkin seeds, garlic, egg yolks, and peanuts.

Iron – A deficiency in iron can result in impeding the manufacturing of thyroid hormones. Supplementing iron naturally can be done by increasing foods such as pumpkin seeds, nuts, beef, beans, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and tofu.

Other important nutrients for proper thyroid function include: copper, vitamins B12, D, E,
DHEA, turmeric, and rhodiola rosea (a root).

Keeping your thyroid healthy is essential to optimal health. At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health. To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of Insurance Companies that commonly carry acupuncture benefits for its members. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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